This book "asserts that the origin and spread of languages must be examined primarily through the time-tested techniques of linguistic analysis, rather than those of evolutionary biology" and "defends traditional practices in historical linguistics while remaining open to new techniques, including computational methods" and "will appeal to readers interested in world history and world geography."
Matthew Chen's landmark study offers the most comprehensive analysis to date of the rich and complex patterns of tone used in Chinese languages. Chinese has a wide repertoire of tones which undergo often surprising changes when they are connected in speech flow. The term tone sandhi refers to this tonal alternation. Chen examines tone sandhi phenomena in detail across a variety of Chinese dialects. He explores a range of important theoretical issues such as the nature of tonal representation, the relation of tone to accent, the prosodic domain of sandhi rules, and the interface between syntax and phonology. His book is the culmination of a ten-year research project and offers a wealth of empirical data not previously accessible to linguists. Extensive references and a bibliography on tone sandhi complete this invaluable resource which will be welcomed as a standard reference on Chinese tone. "Well-structured, comprehensive and reader-friendly, the book is a genuine encyclopedia of Chinese tone sandhi..." Language